The rollout of smart motorways is to be halted as the Government launches a review into their safety.
Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, will pause the construction of any new all-lane-running routes, preventing some of England’s busiest motorways from being stripped of the hard shoulder.
The move follows a scathing report from the Commons Transport Select Committee which found there was not enough safety and economic data available to justify continuing with the controversial transformation of the country’s motorway network.
Ministers will only now decide whether or not to proceed with the schemes after five years of safety data from 112 miles of existing smart motorways has been collected and analysed. The statistics are not likely to be available until Spring 2024.
The announcement comes more than two years after The Telegraph uncovered numerous examples of motorists and passengers having been killed or seriously injured after becoming stranded in live lanes before being hit from behind by high speed traffic.
Four coroners have raised concerns that scrapping the hard shoulder could culminate in more deaths.